Fashion

Take pride in your curly hair

Suma Amujuri

Suma Amujuri   | Photo Credit: by arrangement

Hyderabad is observing a love for curly hair not through brands or hairdressers, but through lifestyle influencers such as Suma Amujuri

Walk into a bustling hair salon and you’ll see at least three workstations sporting a hot straightener at work waiting to press the life out of locks of wild curls into sleek curtains. The ads we see for hair oils all feature a silken wash of hair. But where are curls?

And hairdressers are the people to whom you often find yourself handing over the fate of your mane! Lifestyle blogger Suma Amujuri is done with hairdressers who don’t have the necessary rapport with curly hair… and curly hair is no rarity. They have called her hair “frizz” and often tell her to straighten it.

Thankfully, the consciousness around curly hair is changing and people with curly hair are finally empowered to rock their manes with pride and respect.

One such guide is penned into Lorraine Massey’s Curly Girl: The Handbook, and the umbrella movement is worldwide and despite the delay, it’s finally taking stronger root in Hyderabad. Suma’s on a mission to get people with curly hair to embrace it all and not to chemical treat their hair to death.

The techie is excited to celebrate this through her vlogs and posts. “There are those who are told ‘your hair is different, you need to do something about it,’ and as per the beauty standards which sadly exist out there,” she explains, “straight hair is considered beautiful. And when this happens a lot, you do start to think there should be something done.”

Digital way forward

Suma Amujuri

Suma Amujuri   | Photo Credit: by arrangement

Instead of going the extreme and permanently erasing her curls, Suma did some intense research into how to bring out the best of curly hair. She created her YouTube channel and it was natural for her to keep it bilingual – Telugu and English – which has close to 15,000 subscribers. “Speaking in your mother tongue makes the message of curly hair empowerment much stronger.”

There’s a curl community out there as Suma shares, but it’s largely out of India. “Recently in India, the community has started to grow which is making for a good conversation. When I started showing the results of the new routine for my hair, people saw the difference which helps that conversation along. There was never any scepticism.”

But naturally with the curly hair championing comes a rigorous regime with products and care. The 23-year-old, through her social media, finds herself challenging Indian companies to start manifesting curly hair products for their demographic, explaining, “Even now, I use all international products. But if you ask me if you can rely on only Indian brands for Curly Girl Method right now in 2019, it’s not possible for me. There are basic care products but none that are specific. Maybe only two brands… maybe other companies are figuring it out now, but I have seen some brands not be bothered to look into it at all. They should take it seriously; there’s such a huge market.” The same goes for hairdressers who have to become well-versed with curly hair.

One of the most important things with any hair or beauty care is the science of it, of course. Suma shuns anything with sulphates and other harmful chemicals in shampoos, having done her homework on the chemistry of it all. She also considers that India does have hard water which can dry hair out and weaken it. “We also have to know that, while many are on the hunt for affordable products, we should know the ingredients,” she states.

It’s not just women, as one may have noticed. Suma says the movement is important and inclusive to men as well. She’s featured boys with curly hair on her channel, dispelling the myth of metrosexuality, and empowering men to rock their looks too. “Boys have beauty standards too, so it’s important for them to know that a mindset of ‘it’s like using make-up’ needs to go away,” she insists, adding she’d love to see male influencers in India in this space.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 4:15:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fashion/suma-amujuri-interview-abotu-curly-hair-movement/article26700977.ece

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